Stellar Reviews for Holiday House Swap: Book Tour and Giveaway!

Oh, I have *so* much to do today!

fall-colors-mtFortunately, it’s cold and dreary here, which means I won’t succumb to the temptation of running out to the barn or taking the dogs for a hike. No, today I have work on the edits for the expanded version of Unspeakable Words (coming sometime after the first of the year!) and I’m entering the homestretch on the WIP–if I just shut out all distractions, I’m sure I can knock this one out of the park and be done with it.

holidayhouseswapfs_v2In the meantime, the Holiday House Swap Book Tour continues, and I have some lovely reviews to share with you! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway as well! Check out the posts at Love That’s Out of This World and The Geekery Book Review. You are can read the reviews, sample an excerpt, and pre-order the book on a variety of platforms.

I’m also been nominated for Author of the Year over at Gay Book Reviews! You know when people say, “It’s such an honor to be nominated” but they’re really hoping they will win? Well, I know there is no chance of that happening, and seriously, have you seen the Big Names on this list? It truly *is* an honor to have been nominated, and I appreciate every vote. If you’re so inclined, you can vote once daily until the polls close. You guys are the best!

valueRight now the kettle is whistling, and I’m making a mug of tea. I’m going to close the browser and focus on the WIP. Have a lovely day, everyone. I know I will!

Blasty: Fighting Pirates and Illegal Downloads with a Single Click

pirates-bill-davenportBack in June, I posted an open letter in response to the ‘broke reader’ on Facebook who’d asked for weblinks so she could download stories from her favorite authors without paying for them.

The post, Dear Broke Reader: Your Sense of Entitlement is Killing Me, went viral. It’s been shared on Facebook over 10 K times and I got over 100 K hits on the website over a period of a few days–nearly 25 K hits in one day alone. Obviously, this post resonated with a lot of people! I wrote a follow up post as well, you can find it here.

By far and large, the comments were supportive. Many were from fellow authors, also sick and tired of battling illegal file-sharing of their works. There was a lively discussion of semantics, with some comments stating that nothing more than copyright violation was at stake here, and that copyright laws were stupid, therefore, they need not comply with them. There were some who defended their right to continue procure stories in this fashion. Several believed that because there was no ‘real cost’ to producing an ebook, they should all be free anyway. When I pointed out the financial investment it took to produce a finished product–cover art, professional editing, formatting, etc–one person suggested that once these financial outlays had been met, the price of the book should automatically drop to zero. I respectfully suggest they try that argument on their plumber the next time  they have a leak. I’m sure if he has paid off all his tools, he’ll be happy to work for free.

Alone by Cherie/freeimages.com

Alone by Cherie/freeimages.com

I even had one person tell me I must suck as a writer because if I was ‘good enough’ I would be making a living from my writing despite the widespread suctioning off of potential buyers through such illegal downloads. And yes, I heard ALL the arguments about how these readers would never buy my books anyway, so they don’t truly represent lost sales. In fact, I was told I should be happy people were illegally downloading my stories in the sheer volume they were doing because this could potentially introduce me to readers who would then go out and buy all my stories. Hard to see why they would need to do so when someone keeps uploading bundles of four or five of my stories at a time to torrents, but then, I digress.

This post isn’t meant to be a rehash of the reasons I wrote the original posts in the first place. I eventually had to stop responding to the comments on the previous posts–I was spending more time commenting than working on writing projects. But I would like to share with you what I’m doing about it.

I used to use Google Alerts to notify me of anything to do with one of my stories–including reviews as well as pirate sites or uploads to torrents. Sadly, Google Alerts missed a LOT of things, so I stopped relying on them to watch the Internet for me and took it upon myself to do a title search every couple of months or so. I would turn over links to pirate sites to my publisher, but dealing with torrents was much more difficult. They didn’t respond to DCMA notices, and when I contacted them directly, they basically shrugged and smiled.

Then someone showed me this handy little link: Google DCMA Removal Request Form. I began using this, though it was very cumbersome and time-consuming. I’d select a title, hunt down a number of illegal links, and then spend several hours copying and pasting information into the form, jumping through all the necessary hoops to get Google to block the page in a search of my story title. It’s not a perfect system by far: the site is still up and running, and if you already know the site, you can probably find the stories within it, but at least someone googling “Unspeakable Words” won’t immediately come up with 20 sites where they can get this story without paying for it. Because it was such a hassle to do, I confess, I would only do it every few months when I had a big block of time. Haha, you know how rare that is, and I’d rather use it to write the next story, thank you very much.

Even more frustrating was the fact Google frequently questioned my request to remove the links to works in copyright violation, demanding I prove I was the copyright holder. Funny, no one asked the illegal file-sharing site to prove they held the copyright to my work before they uploaded it! The irony here was deliciously bitter.

More recently, I was introduced to Blasty, a service that searches out weblinks associated with your titles, allows you to review them for legitimacy, and then file the DCMA removal request with a single click of a button. It’s still in beta, but when it goes live, you can bet I’ll be on board. Yes, I will happily pay a fee to have this tool at my disposal. I have to tell you, I still spend hours searching for illegal downloads of my stories, but removing the links from web searches is immensely easier now. And while I am disheartened by the numbers of illegal files out there (and I have to grind my teeth at the sites that offer a ‘pro’ download system to their users so they can avoid detection and lawsuits–their words, not mine), at least my battle has gotten easier. Now I can check titles once a week and hopefully spend less time keeping up. Sure, I’m constantly bailing out a leaking boat, but it’s MY leaking boat to bail.

Put in other terms: yes, I know that people are going to continue to illegally share files. Yes, I know I’m fighting a losing battle. But darn it, I don’t have to make it easy for them to obtain my creative works without paying for them. When the average story runs between $4-6 dollars and my publisher runs sales all the time, it doesn’t feel like too much to ask. Try not only getting that cup of Starbucks coffee for free, but then taking it home and sharing it with over 16 K of your BFFs online.

People often ask me where I get this ‘magic number of 16 K’. That was the recorded number of illegal downloads for one of my stories from a single site. Last night, I ‘blasted’ over thirty sites. You do the math, and then tell me that it can’t possibly be affecting my bottom line.

EDIT: Since this post went live this morning, I’ve received 523 alerts from Blasty to verify. FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE. *sigh*

Busy, busy: Sales, Deals, and Upcoming Releases from Sarah Madison

Time Turner Melanie Tata: flickr creative commons

Time Turner Melanie Tata: flickr creative commons

Whew! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I could use Hermione’s Time Turner device.

I’ve got so much going on right now, it’s hard to keep up. First: let me share a few limited specials with you:

Dreamspinner Press is currently holding a 25% off sale on all paranormal titles until Oct 31st–which means most of my stories are on sale right now!

Even more exciting, however, is the fact that this weekend only, you can snag a copy of Crying for the Moon for only 99 cents as part of Dreamspinner’s Weekend Reads deal! I do love this tale of Alex and Tate, struggling to find out what ‘normal’ means in a world of vampires, werewolves, and shifters. I’ve been saying for years I intend to write more in that universe, and I do, but see the note above about the Time Turner device.

CryingMoonI definitely want to tell the story of how Nick and Peter met, however, and I have wicked, terrible plans for Tate, too. *rubs hands together with an evil grin*

I’m currently winding up edits on my holiday story with Dreamspinner, called Holiday House Swap. In it, reclusive snarky author Noah Finley battles a professional crisis and writer’s block by arranging a house swap for Christmas, only someone forgot to tell the real owner about it! Major Connor Harrison faced retirement or dishonorable discharge due to his actions to save a buddy overseas–the last thing he expects to find in his house when he returns is a sharp-tempered, wickedly funny writer.

I look forward to being able to share that story with you soon!

I’m also beginning edits on the expanded version of Unspeakable Words. This was the first major story I’d ever released, and as the series has grown over the years, I realized there were things I wanted to delve into deeper detail with the original story. I’m very excited about being able to revisit the beginning of Flynn and Jerry’s story, as well as a relaunch of the series (hopefully after the first of the year)! As soon as I finish these edits, I’ll be writing the final installment in the Sixth Sense series. The entire set is on sale right now with the Dreamspinner Paranormal sale, so if you’ve been thinking about starting the series, you should grab them now!

I’m also working on a short epilogue to Fool’s Gold, available only to those who sign up for my newsletter. There’s still plenty of time to sign up, so be sure to do so if you want the latest updates and exclusive material!

And I’m working on several other stories for different projects at the moment as well–which leads me back to the opening paragraph! Man, I’d love a Time Turner!

 

 

 

 

Galloping Toward the Finish Line

jumping-kSome of you might notice I haven’t been around much lately. I apologize, and want you to know I haven’t forgotten you–I’m just behind on my emails with a lot of catching up to do.

What have I been doing?

Well, I’ve been deep in edits on my upcoming Christmas story called Holiday House Swap. I’m so excited about this one, guys! It’s a fun little story about opposites attract when circumstances throw an in-the-closet writer and a forcibly retired Air Force major into frivolous circumstances. This one’s a feel-good story for the holidays, and should be out from Dreamspinner Press in December.

I’m also working like mad  on the next story–which I *must* finish before the first of the year: the next (and final) installment of The Sixth Sense series. I’m thrilled to announce that the entire series is getting a new look with new covers because I’m releasing an expanded version of the first story, Unspeakable Words! That’s right, Unspeakable Words will be coming out soon with extended scenes and the sorts of details everyone’s been begging for! I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be able to share this information with you!

Fool'sGold-400x600I’m also running a sale on Fool’s Gold soon (as soon as I can set it up). I’ll be offering an epilogue to the story–but it will be available only to those who sign up for my newsletter. I’ll make an additional announcement when I get that in place too! Which reminds me–Fool’s Gold is up for Book of the Week at Love Bytes Reviews! I know it doesn’t stand a chance of winning (I’ve seen the competition and it’s fierce!) but if you’d like to vote for it, the poll is at the link in this paragraph.

And I almost forgot! My monthly blog post is up at Author’s Speak at Rainbow Gate, where I discuss the dangers of comparing yourself to others. This doesn’t apply just to writing–the advice is applicable to everyone! Do drop in, check it out, and tell me what you think.

And work just called me in early… Whew! No wonder I’m distracted and am behind on my correspondence! I promise I’ll catch up soon, though!

More on KU , a Rafflecopter, and the upcoming release of Fool’s Gold!

Today I’m over at at Authors Speak at Rainbow Gate talking about my ongoing internal debate about whether or not to give KU a chance with my upcoming release of Fool’s Gold. I’ve posted about this before, but I have gathered new information since then, and guess what? It hasn’t made the decision any easier.

dangerI think what it’s going to come down to is doing it on a trial basis and seeing how it compares to the kinds of sales I’d expect otherwise. I mean, I won’t really know unless I try it myself, right? But if you’re also sitting on the KU fence, you’d be wise to read my cautionary tales in the Authors Speak post! Heck, even if you’re not sitting on the fence–if you have stories in KU, you’d better keep an eye on things!

In other news, we’re holding a Rafflecopter giveaway for those who sign up to follow the Authors Speak blog! Check out this post to participate and find out what you could win!

On the home front, I’m pleased to say by this time next month I’ll be attending Writer’s Police Academy! To say I’m looking forward to this is a bit of an understatement. I don’t get to travel much, so I’m looking forward to being in a different venue, but oh! The fun I will have! In addition to the regular seminars, I won lotteries to courses on ballistics and death scene investigations. I’m so excited! The hard part is going to be choosing between seminars held at the same time. I’m also looking forward to using the knowledge gained in upcoming stories, so be prepared for some gritty action in my future romances. 🙂

I’m also pleased to announce that Unspeakable Words is getting a makeover, with additional scenes that will expand it into a full-length novel! Unspeakable Words is the first major story I ever had published, and this revision is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. It only makes sense to have all the stories in the Sixth Sense series in the same format, and it had always bugged me just a little that UW was only a novella while the other stories were novels. So yay for Dreamspinner to allow me to publish a second addition! Hopefully it will be out by March of 2017.

I’m also pleased to announce Dreamspinner has picked up my Christmas-themed story called Holiday House Swap! When a reclusive writer on a tight deadline trades homes for the holidays in order to get fresh perspective, the last thing he expects to find is the actual owner in residence. Misinformation, misapprehensions, and general hi-jinks ensue. It’s one of my favorite tropes–the home for the holidays story. I think you’ll find it loads of fun. 🙂 Tentative release planned for December 2016.

But before both of those, I’ll be releasing my sport horse story, Fool’s Gold. It’s being formatted now, and I hope to have it available within the next few weeks–I’m timing it for the 2016 Summer Games, as it has an Olympic storyline. There will be a book tour soon, and I’ll be posting some excerpts as well. This story has a lot of personal meaning to me, as I used to event myself before I had to retire my mare from competition due to arthritis.

Fool'sGold-400x600Blurb: Eight years ago, Jake Stanford had it all: a spot on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team and the love of his life, Rich Evans. A tragic accident wipes out everything in the blink of an eye. Hard work and sacrifice get him another shot at Olympic Gold, but only if he puts his past behind him and agrees to work with Rich again.

Bound by secrets he cannot share, Rich was forced to give up Jake eight years ago. Now he has a second chance to help Jake realize his dreams. But the secrets that drove them apart haven’t changed, and Rich must face them or risk losing Jake forever.

 

So that’s all the news in Lake Wobegone for the moment. 🙂 Stay tuned for updates as they become available. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Today only: Unspeakable Words is free!

UnspeakableWordscoverWhat a whirlwind the last few weeks it has been! It seems like only a few days ago, I was saying, “Halloween already?” and now Thanksgiving has come and gone.

I have more to say on gratitude later, but I had to take a moment to get the word out: for today only, Unspeakable Words (Sixth Sense series Book 1) is FREE. That’s right, free! Snag a copyfree-sign from Dreamspinner Press until midnight tonight, EST. Even better, you can get the entire Sixth Sense series on sale until 11/30! Wait, not only the entire Sixth Sense series, but ALL my books are on sale! I know, right? That’s because Dreamspinner is having a 35% off sale  on the entire store until 11/30.15. In fact, you can even pre-order The Boys of Summer at the sale price (release date 12/21/15). So what are you waiting for? Go, shop, enjoy!

Release Day and Book Tour for Truth and Consequences by Sarah Madison!

T&C bannerIf you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited right now. Today is the release day for Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense series, Book 3) and the launch of a two week book tour! I don’t know about you, but it feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this book to be released! But the day is finally here, and I can’t wait to share this story with you!

Here is the schedule, if you’d like to join in the fun!

T&C Schedule

 

 

 

I’ve got three stops today: Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My!, The Blogger Girls, and MM Good Book Reviews! Drop by and leave a comment. I’ll be giving away a free copy of Unspeakable Words (or if you have that already, something from my backlist).

Walk a Mile and the Sixth Sense series place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards!

Champagne Cork PopHoly smokes! Time to break out the champagne! Walk a Mile (book 2 in the Sixth Sense series) placed third in the Best M/M Romantic Mystery category for the 2014 Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and the series itself came in second in the Best M/M Romantic Mystery series division!

You could have knocked me over with a feather–I was up against some seriously good stories by some amazing authors this year–and while I was pleased to be nominated, I didn’t really think I had a chance of placing so well. In fact, I was so boggled by Walk a Mile’s placement, that I didn’t even notice that the Sixth Sense series as a whole had placed as well!

2014 3rd2014 2nd

This is just the sort of encouragement I need right now–I’m in the homestretch for finishing the third installment in the series, tentatively titled Truth and Consequences, after which I’ll be putting the series aside for a while to work on some other ongoing projects. I’m thrilled that so many people are enjoying this series, and honored to have placed in these awards.

Meanwhile, back to the keyboard! I hope to get the first draft of T&C finished today and off to my critique group for this weekend’s session. Which is why you won’t see much of me until I come out on the other side of this deadline!

UnspeakableWordscoverWalkAMile

The “We’re Not at GRL” Facebook Party Sat Oct 18th!

Woot!

This is the last day of the Walk a Mile book tour and your last shot at entering the Rafflecopter for the e-book giveaway before it closes. 🙂 It’s been a rush, going to so many websites, chatting with people, finding out how many readers have fallen in love with Flynn and Jerry and want more from them!

Tennant You Should Be WritingBut all good things come to an end, and the best part about coming to the end of the book tour is that I can go back to doing what so many people are clamoring for: working on the next installment in the series!

I’ve still got some stops today, and will be posting the entire schedule (with links updated) tomorrow, for those wanting to get in on the giveaway at the last minute. I realize that many of you already have a copy of the prize, Unspeakable Words, so if the winner of the rafflecopter already has a copy, we’ll exchange the prize for something else from my backlist. 🙂

I won’t *entirely* disappear from the internet, though! Some friends and I were chatting on Facebook about how disappointed we were that we couldn’t to to GRL 2014 this year, and how much fun everyone was having–and we decided to host our own online party! Better organizers than me quickly got on board with this idea, and so we’re going to be at Rainbow Gold Reviews holding a “We’re Not At GRL” Party this Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm EST. Come on down and join the fun because this is for everyone who can’t go to GRL as well!

Today, on the final stops of the book tour, I’ll be at MM Good Book Reviews, Jade Crystal, Velvet Panic! I hope you’ll join me to talk about Walk a Mile, find out my darkest secrets, read some reviews, and enter the giveaway!

GRLsale_DSPsiteAs part of the celebration of Gay Rom Lit weekend, Dreamspinner Press is having a sale! 25% off everything in stock, and 35% off on all GRL participating authors! Go check it out, and get a good deal on my backlist while you’re there!

 

Today’s the last day to get Walk a Mile at 25% off during Dreamspinner’s Halloween Sale!

DSP Halloween SaleI want to make sure everyone knows about Dreamspinners early Halloween sale! All paranormals, fantasies, sci-fi, mystery and suspense e-books are 25% off but the sale ends today!

It won’t be your last chance to get Walk a Mile at a discount, however! I’m going to be taking over the Dreamspinner Facebook page from 2-4 pm EST Sunday, Oct12th and there will be a coupon code good for several days offered then. I do hope you’ll drop in for a chat and some giveaways!

The Pride Promotions book tour for Walk a Mile is ongoing:today I’ll be at Romance the Night, Cate Ashwood, and also at Shae Conner’s too. Stop by, enter the Rafflecopter, and ask me some questions–I’d like to hear from you!